Tags: Donald Trump | Russia | Russia Probe | Trump Administration | paul manafort | vladimir putin | oligarch

Report: Manafort Used Trump Role to Impress Russian Oligarch

Report: Manafort Used Trump Role to Impress Russian Oligarch
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort (Matt Rourke/AP)

By    |   Monday, 02 October 2017 05:54 PM

President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort sought approval from a Putin ally during the presidential election, according to emails provided to The Atlantic.

Manafort, who has been the subject of an FBI investigation for three years and has emerged as a focal point in FBI special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into potential collusion with Russia in the 2016 election, swapped emails with an overseas intermediary in an effort to get a message to a Russian billionaire closely aligned with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I assume you have shown our friends my media coverage, right?" Manafort wrote, per The Atlantic.

"Absolutely," Konstantin Kilimnik responded a few hours later. "Every article."

"How do we use to get whole," Manafort asks. "Has OVD operation seen?"

OVD, according to sources who spoke with The Atlantic, refers to Oleg Vladimirovich Deripaska. Manafort was reportedly deeply in debt and seeking to leverage his leadership role in the Trump campaign to impress Deripaska. Manafort had done business in the past with Deripaska, but their relationship had crumbled over an investment.

Manafort was only a volunteer on Trump's campaign. His exchanges with Konstantin Kilimnick, a longtime employee of his and intermediary to Deripaska, started two weeks after he joined the team.

"Yes, I have been sending everything to Victor, who has been forwarding the coverage directly to OVD," Kilimnik responded in April. ("Victor" is a Deripaska aide, according to the Post.)

"Frankly, the coverage has been much better than Trump's," Kilimnik wrote. "In any case it will hugely enhance your reputation no matter what happens."

Kilimnick in a later email said Manafort's efforts to please Deripaska were paying off.

"I am carefully optimistic on the issue of our biggest interest," Kilimnik went on. "Our friend V said there is lately significantly more attention to the campaign in his boss's mind, and he will be most likely looking for ways to reach out to you pretty soon, understanding all the time sensitivity. I am more than sure that it will be resolved and we will get back to the original relationship with V.'s boss." 

The source close to Manafort confirmed "V" is a reference to Victor, the Deripaska aide.

The emails are among tens of thousands of documents turned over to congressional investigators and Mueller as they probe whether Trump associates coordinated with Russia.

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President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort sought approval from a Vladimir Putin ally during the presidential election, according to emails provided to The Atlantic.
paul manafort, vladimir putin, oligarch, campaign collusion
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2017-54-02
Monday, 02 October 2017 05:54 PM
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